PALM DESERT – The pair of guilty verdicts this week against disgraced Hollywood movie magnate Harvey Weinstein was a victory for all women, Angelina Coe, executive director of Shelter from the Storm, told Uken Report.
Coe said she has dedicated her life to being an advocate for victims to help them become empowered survivors, which takes much time and courage.
Shelter from the Storm specializes in intimate partner domestic violence and not rape or rape crisis intervention, Coe said, adding that she is not an expert. However, the Shelter is about empowering women and breaking the cycle of violence and abuse.
Even though Harvey Weinstein was only found guilty of two of the charges, of rape in the third degree, it was a win for women everywhere, Coe said.
“It is not easy to face your abuser or accuser or even go public when it comes to rape and abuse,” Coe said. “Silence allows the abuser to continue to abuse and not be held accountable. Generally speaking, if a person has raped once, that person is likely to rape again.”
Speaking up and speaking out creates awareness despite the fear felt that you may not be believed and blamed, Coe said.
“The women who spoke up did a public service for women everywhere and for the #MeToo movement,” Coe said. “As a society this teaches us to stop victim blaming and hold those accountable for their actions regardless of their status and financial backing. We need to believe survivors, allow them to tell their stories without judgement and blaming/shaming.”
Again, Coe emphasized, “It may be considered a small win, however a win nevertheless and a huge step in the right direction.”
Harvey Weinstein whose sexual abuse of young female actor wannabes sparked the #MeToo movement, was found him guilty this week of two of the five charges he faced.
After five days, the jury of seven men and five women found the defendant guilty of a criminal sex act in the first degree for forcing oral sex on Miriam Haley, a former Project Runway production assistant. The incident occurred in 2006.
The count carries a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum of up to 25 years.
The jury also convicted Weinstein of third-degree rape. It pertains to him raping a woman in a New York hotel in 2013. This count carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and no minimum. Weinstein will be required to register as a sex offender.
Weinstein was acquitted of three further charges, including the two most serious counts of predatory sexual assault which carried a possible life sentence and an alternative count of rape in the first degree.
His attorneys say they will appeal.
- Harvey Weinstein: Shutterstock